The problem with third way policies

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, October 6th, 2012 - 93 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: ,

Let me be clear right now. Feeding hungry kids at school is a GOOD THING. That said, it’s a band-aid to deal with one of the symptoms of poverty, low wages, unemployment, and general structural inequity while you fix these bigger problems. If you don’t do that then it just becomes another classic third-way policy.

So when David Shearer announced it I was surprised that it wasn’t picked up by National. After all it represents a small outlay of taxpayers’ money and would deliver National a much needed PR reprieve. As I commented at the time:

The nat’s political nous seems to have deserted them this year. They could have just pinched the food in schools policy and run with it. It costs bugger all and would’ve made them look a) like they were able to act in a bipartisan manner b) have seemed like they cared (and helped shore up the female vote) and c) taken the (albeit limited) wind out of Labour’s sails on the issue. It’s exactly the kind of thing Key would have done a year ago

It seems the leader’s office has finally cottoned on to this with the Herald reporting increased funding to food in schools programmes is being considered:

[Bill English] said he was “quite open” to considering a national food strategy for low-decile schools as proposed by an expert group appointed by Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills.

I certainly hope they implement this strategy.

What’s interesting about this, however, is the fact that since Labour’s announcement they’ve done sod all to highlight and own their own policy. The result has been that the policy of food in schools is now seen as one driven by John Campbell (and kudos to him – he’s done a superb job) and the children’s commissioner. In the Herald article Labour and David Shearer aren’t mentioned even once.

The context of the issue is barely touched on either. In fact Bill English manages to partially shift it toward the right-wing “personal responsibility” frame of government having to pick up where irresponsible parents fail (as an aside, I’ve noticed an increased use of this distorted version of the social contract argument turning up a lot – and not always from the mouths of (blue) tories).

While I’ll be immensely pleased if the government makes sure the kids get fed, we’ve lost the opportunity to have an hugely significant discussion about why they are hungry in the first place.

That’s the problem with third way policies.

93 comments on “The problem with third way policies”

  1. My first response to the Herald announcement was that they really need to get Dotcom off the front page!

    My second was surprise that Bennett had not been dragged out to do some more bene bashing.

    But I agree they could own the poverty issue by bashing and then adopting Labour policy and showing a bit of kindness. It would give Labour no where to go on the issue.

    Unless as you say the real causes of poverty then become part of the discussion.

  2. ianmac 2

    Every kid getting fed and getting full health treatment is the bipartisan norm in schools in Finland.

    • Reagan Cline 2.1

      Finland is less ethnically diverse than NZ.

      I assume that means it is easier to get bipartisan agreement on social policy.

      There are two large groups of people with obviously different cultural and historical beliefs living in NZ. I don’t accept that the same social, educational and health policies will apply well to both.

      There needs to be discussion towards reforming the NZ state into a federation that recognises the two groups and each group legislates for their own people on social, educational and health and shares responsibility for defense and foreign policy.

      It will be important to foster mutual respect and to accept that on the deepest level we are one people because we are human beings and share the same country and the seas and climate.

      There must never be a system that could be perverted towards oppression of one group by the other and civil war.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Finland has had a large influx of immigrants. Decades ago they had a largely monoculture. Not so now. Yet the Education system caters for them all in a Universal Needs based way. Listen to Pasi Sahlberg when he comes on Kim Hill’s Replay radio. Then adjust your ideas Reagan.

    • David C 2.2

      So lets be like Finland with nuke energy and slash and burn forestry?

  3. What’s interesting about this, however, is the fact that since Labour’s announcement they’ve done sod all to highlight and own their own policy.”

    It was Labours policy?

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/23-Tory-charity-gaffe-cold-and-out-of-touch.html

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      You’ll note the difference between Labour’s policy and that of the businesses. One comes with a government guarantee, the other is voluntary and can be taken away just as easily as it was given. One will reach all schools while the other will only reach some.

      So, yeah, calling it ‘Tory charity’ is exactly what it was. You’ll note that it didn’t have anything to do with National either – it just had National complaining that a Labour MP called it for what it was/is.

      • This wasn’t the right kind of food in schools program so fuck that. Better kids go hungry than have the ‘tory’s’ provide it.

        • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1

          “You’ll note the difference between Labour’s policy and that of the businesses. One comes with a government guarantee, the other is voluntary and can be taken away just as easily as it was given”

          Firstly the government is just as able as any business to taketh away what it giveth. You naivety in the benevolence of government is astounding. Secondly “One will reach all schools while the other will only reach some.” It isn’t schools in Remuera being targeted here. Finally, it was that awful business man, Owen Glenn, who donated $80M to help fight poverty this year.

          Look at yourself Draco. I’m a cynic but you take cynicism to so far as to be ideological blindness.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            you mean the frustrated monte carlo diplomat who offered the electorate that money if national got reelected has donated $80mil?
                 
            Partial repayment of a proffered bribe, as far as I’m concerned. And offset by the millions if not billions lost in the continued tax cuts for key, glenn and their mates.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah fuck that, what a dick. $80M? Pffft, what an asshat.

              • McFlock

                You really don’t know the difference between private charity doing a half-assed job of throwing a few crumbs to the peasants, and a government running a long-term nationally-coordinated programme to alleviate poverty for all, do you. 

                • You’re right, he shouldn’t have even bothered.

                  • McFlock

                    No, if you offer a bribe you should pay it – otherwise that’s adding fraud to the bribery mark on your character.
                       
                    What he should have done was shut the fuck up in the first place. And, if he truly gave a shit about poverty rather than baubles and honours, still donated the money.

                    • I’m going back to my Pink Floyd now. Shine on McFlock, shine on you crazy polished piece of glass.

                    • Jokerman

                      Oh Contrari-wise (yes that was me at my friends),
                      “Where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone? in your bed,
                      Tell me the thoughts that surround you…”

                    • The gold road’s sure a long road
                      Winds on through the hills for fifteen days
                      The pack on my back is aching
                      The straps seem to cut me like a knife

                    • Jokerman

                      an it’s 2-4-6-8 Motorway, me and my radio (in my head) truckin on thru the night…:)

              • Um TC source please. I am aware of links suggesting he will donate $100 mil but there was no time limit. This would no doubt be spread over many years.

                Besides if he paid tax on what he has he would be paying a significant amount each year.

                If Glenn invested his (say) business interests in NZ, had a 6% return and paid 30% of this in tax he would be contributing $18 million a year in tax. It would not take long for that amount to exceed his purported generosity which I am sure has a tax break attached.

                Ordinary people pay their tax and do not get cudos. Why should the rich be different?

            • higherstandard 3.1.1.1.1.2

              I’ll think you’ll find that Owen Glenn has put more into NZ than he has ever got back in terms of decreases in tax paid.

              No doubt you would be fawning over him if he was still in the red team.

              • McFlock

                I think you’ll find that he was quite happy to do his little bit to make life worse for the poor of this country by supporting nact simply out of envy at being denied a diplomatic bauble. 
                       
                 

                • Wow, you’re not a bitter old cunt at all.

                  Donated $80M? Fuck ‘im! He voted National.

                  What a sad old piece of shit you are.

                  • McFlock

                    balancing the benefit of his donation against the cost of his offering the bribe in the first place. 
                         
                    If the reality of his actions makes me sound bitter, then that’s down to his actions. If someone steals $100 and puts $20 of it in the food bank, he still shouldn’t have nicked the $100 in the first place, even though that means the food bank would be down $20.

                    • So if Owen Glenns $80M is like $20 to $100 then you are accusing Glenn of ‘stealing’ $400M.

                    • McFlock

                      No, it was an illustrative example. I think the main motivating factor for glenn’s [what I think of as a] ‘bribe’ was simple pique at being denied a bauble. He’s probably not used to not getting what he wants, and packed a paddy. Rich people can throw expansive tantrums.
                           
                      Of course, the cost to the country (and benefit to the 0.05%) of continued nact rule would be in the billions. But whether glenn himself ended up quids in from the deal, I don’t think he cares.

                    • “Rich people can throw expansive tantrums.”

                      So you think Glenn gave $80M to charity because he was having a wobbly? Wow, wish he was here so I could make him angry. I’d run around him with a bucket while he threw money in the air with rage.

                      “Of course, the cost to the country (and benefit to the 0.05%) of continued nact rule would be in the billions.”

                      So Owen Glenn is responsible National’s policies? Didn’t see his name on the ballot.

                    • McFlock

                      Given the election was so close between national needing MP approval vs having act/dunne rubber stamps, it’s perfectly plausible that the offer he made on a prime time tv show weeks from the election might have nudged the polls just a touch. Otherwise he wouldn’t have made the offer.
                          
                      Hell, either the argument is that he made the offer of $100mil (if national and act with the 2011 election) with no resulting effect on the election while at the same time not being prepared to spend tens of millions on a wobbly; or the two events are part of one and the same deal. 
                           

                    • Wish I could just make up my own assertions about peoples motives and relay them as fact.

                      Your talking out your ass McFlock. Cynicism about Glenn’s does not a fact make. Your just making it up based upon nothing more than “That’s what I think”

                    • McFlock

                      Is it a fact that he used to support labour and discontinued that support after the monte carlo BS?  
                         
                      Is it a fact that he offered to spend $100mil on youth and poverty if NACT won the election?
                           
                      Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?
                              
                      Fuck, rewatch that interview where he made the bribe (sorry, “conditional offer”). He expresses his motives pretty clearly.
                           

                    • McFlock, fact remains, the guy pledge $80M to poverty causes and you, as distinct from those charities he worked with, are saying “Fuck it, I don’t like him. Fuck his money”

                      What horrific cynicism from a bitter old prick. Think outside your narrow preconceptions, old man.

                      “Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?”

                      Errrr, this WAS after the election:
                      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/owen-glenn-commits-80-million-family-violence-4973756

                    • McFlock

                      Yep, fuck him and fuck his money. 
                             
                      Fuck the government that refuses to do the job he is barely approaching looking at with that money.
                         
                      Fuck the media that refuses to call it what it is: payment of a bribe.
                         
                      Fuck tories like you that support tory charity in place of a government that works for all people, not just the rich.
                         
                      And fuck the horse you rode in on, too.  

                    • “Is he spending similar amounts of money to the offer on similar areas after that election outcome?”

                      YES:
                      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/owen-glenn-commits-80-million-family-violence-4973756

                      But all you have done is just rage impotently

                      “Fuck the government that refuses to do the job he is barely approaching looking at with that money.”

                      Yep, fuck the government…which has nothing to do with Owen Glenn..

                      “Fuck the media that refuses to call it what it is: payment of a bribe.”

                      Bribe? You mean the money he pledged in July 2012

                      “Fuck tories like you that support tory charity in place of a government that works for all people, not just the rich.”

                      No you are just being an obstinate angry old man. GET OFF MY LAWN!
                      Sad. Particularly as you are using ‘tory’ as a pejorative towards me who isn’t even a Tory yet because I disagree with your wild ravings I must be.

                      Sad, sad, bitter old man

                    • McFlock

                      “Bribe? You mean the money he pledged in July 2012”
                           
                      You should work in a petrol station forecourt: everybody being so nice to you, giving you money all day. Nothing to do with what they were doing at the pumps earlier. Yes, “bribe”, as in the spending he flagged prior to the election, conditional on a particular election result.
                             
                      And if the government has nothing to do with owen glenn, why did he announce that his pre-election off was conditional on which government was elected if not to influence the outcome in some small way?    
                              
                      “rage”
                      You wish. Just like you wish you weren’t a tory. And yet you always seem to be arguing their corner.

                    • “as in the spending he flagged prior to the election, conditional on a particular election result.”

                      Citation needed.

                      “And if the government has nothing to do with owen glenn, why did he announce that his pre-election off was conditional on which government was elected if not to influence the outcome in some small way? ”

                      Citation needed

                      “You wish. Just like you wish you weren’t a tory. And yet you always seem to be arguing their corner.”

                      Arguing against the gibberish that falls out off McFlocks mouth =/= supporting NACT. I am extremely disappointed with National. But National being wrong in no way makes McFLock right.

                      But come one big fella, tell me again how Owen Glenn put aside $80M before the election in 2011, kept it to himself until 2012 then paid it to a charity all while calling our rates of poverty a ‘national shame’ all to swing an election.

                      Sad, sad, old man McFlock
                      Tried to make a point but he went half cocked
                      Now he rages and spews with bile
                      all because he lacks youth and guile

                    • McFlock

                      Citation needed.

                      The last 2 minutes of the interview I linked to here, you doofus. Or is that too vague for you?
                       

                      Citation needed.

                      Same one as above.
                       

                      Arguing against the gibberish that falls out off McFlocks mouth =/= supporting NACT.

                      Sometimes. But when you desperately claim that a promise made conditional upon an electoral outcome, followed by that promise being fulfilled after the outcome occurs, in no way counts as a bribe – well, it’s pretty fucking close.
                         
                       Watch the last two minutes of the interview. 

                    • I’ll have to do it tomorrow (I have no readily available source of sound right now).

                      But I will, I can promise you that. Then we can talk further.

                      Poor old McFlock, such an angry old man

                    • Without utilising sound it is a real shame that text shows he was going to donate it no matter who won, some days later:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10749644

                      “Entrepreneur and philanthropist Owen Glenn says his commitment to donate $100 million to New Zealand youth is not contingent on National and Act winning the November 26 general election.”

                      Better luck next time

                    • McFlock

                      Seriously?
                           
                      “nanananana can’t hear what he said, nananana here’s a back-pedal a few days later”.
                           
                      The dude made an explicit offer on condition of a nact govt. Watch the vid.

                    • I actually couldn’t hear it at the time but whatever. The sort of blind, accusatory assertions you throw down about others has become the norm from you now so I am not surprised a bitter swine like yourself would resort to such a thing.

                      “the dude made an explicit offer on condition of a nact govt”

                      And then recanted and stated otherwise mere days later with:

                      “Entrepreneur and philanthropist Owen Glenn says his commitment to donate $100 million to New Zealand youth is not contingent on National and Act winning the November 26 general election.”

                      Then he made the donation (which isn’t his first donation to a cause, regardless of politics) and you still sit and claim, I assume straight faced, that he did it all to swing an election? Even though it was quite publicised days later that it didn’t matter who won he would do it any.
                      Seems a strange way to swing an election, no?

                      Face it, your bitter because he threw his lot in with National. If he had said otherwise, if he was a Labour supporter we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Because you don’t care about someones actions, only that they agree with you. Otherwise, fuck ’em.

                      Sad, man, sad.

                      Poor McFlock,
                      An unfortunate cock.
                      Replete with hate
                      scared of his fate

                    • felix

                      I put it to you that once such an offer is made, it’s made.

                      You can’t just un-say things, and trying doesn’t change the fact that he did it, and it doesn’t mean that the message he sent didn’t affect anyone’s decision.

                      Looked to me like he backpedaled because people were accusing him of trying to buy our democratic process.

                      That’s all just my subjective reading of it though, and I don’t claim to know his mind. I do have a serious question for you though: If you don’t believe that he tried to influence the election (or he did it accidentally or whatever) then what does “he threw his lot in with National” mean?

                    • “You can’t just un-say things, and trying doesn’t change the fact that he did it, and it doesn’t mean that the message he sent didn’t affect anyone’s decision.”

                      Well, because we are adults and we aren’t on a playground then yes, you can clarify, back-track, amplify and adjust your statements and if you are going to take someone as read on an initial statement then it stands to reason you should take them as read on their second because all we have to go on is the mans words and anything outside of that is speculation. If you want to be cynical about then do so but it it would be your own assertion and as such does not stand to scrutiny.

                      “If you don’t believe that he tried to influence the election (or he did it accidentally or whatever) then what does “he threw his lot in with National” mean?”

                      Firstly I would add I think it is arrogant to believe that NZ voters are so stupid as to be bought by the promises of Owen Glenn, particularly, as you say he ‘backtracked’ quite publicly.
                      ““he threw his lot in with National” mean?” He publicly supported them is what I mean. If he publicly supported a left wing cause I doubt we’d be having this conversation and it illustrates the negation of action and judging someone purely by political opinion.

                    • McFlock

                      So if I, say, said to a cop “I am prepared to give you $50 but only if you do not give me a ticket”, and then “clarified” or “amplified” in the station that the offer of $50 was in no way contingent on said ticket not being issued, in your ideal legal system that’s perfectly okay.
                         
                      Good to know.
                              
                       

                    • felix

                      “Firstly I would add I think it is arrogant to believe that NZ voters are so stupid as to be bought by the promises of Owen Glenn, particularly, as you say he ‘backtracked’ quite publicly.”

                      Then don’t say it. I didn’t. I said he tried it on – which he definitely factually absolutely did.

                      You don’t dispute that part, do you?

                      Because that part is a yes or no question – and as we have video of him saying it, the answer is yes he did. You could speculate on whether he was joking, having a brain seizure, or any number of other things but it would only be your assertion and as such won’t stand up to scrutiny, right?

                      All we have to go on are his words, after all. Right?

                      “He publicly supported them is what I mean.”

                      I guess you mean some other time then. I wasn’t aware he had made much of publicly supporting them apart from the offer of money if they were elected.

                    • I think we should all meet for a beer and hash this out.

                      “and as we have video of him saying it, the answer is yes he did. You could speculate on whether he was joking, having a brain seizure, or any number of other things but it would only be your assertion and as such won’t stand up to scrutiny, right?”

                      Yes but we have a later statement of clarification.

                      “I guess you mean some other time then. I wasn’t aware he had made much of publicly supporting them”

                      Apart from when he did.

                      But this is hopeless. Completely hopeless. Another 24 hour conversation where no one wins, I say ‘fuck this” and McFLock and Felix run away to the coop to proclaim victory because opponent resigned in frustration. Go for it.

                    • felix

                      “Yes but we have a later statement of clarification.”

                      No, we have a later statement saying the opposite of the first one. Hardly a clarification.

                      But regardless of him changing his mind (or whatever), are you denying that he made the offer or not?

                      And can you point to this other public support for National that you’ve mentioned twice now or not?

                      ps “no one wins, I say ‘fuck this” and McFLock and Felix run away to the coop to proclaim victory because opponent resigned in frustration.”

                      lolz, when you can’t answer your opponent’s charges, someone has won. You just have trouble admitting when you can’t answer.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                           
                      It’s just been fun watching you bend over backwards to defend what tory charity really is: the payment of a small bribe to keep enough peasants happy with the status quo that change doesn’t happen. 

                    • “lolz, when you can’t answer your opponent’s charges, someone has won. ”

                      Well done on your victory. You and McFlock have truly vanquished your opponents.

                      Toast to your victory with your home made liquors. I have been bested by the learned alphas of the standard.

                    • felix

                      Yeah but best not make a big thing of it.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            Firstly the government is just as able as any business to taketh away what it giveth.

            No it’s not. It’s constrained, to some degree, by public opinion.

            You naivety in the benevolence of government is astounding.

            I’m highly sceptical of government – there was that conversation we had a while back about it being an elected dictatorship.

            It isn’t schools in Remuera being targeted here.

            And the charity run by businesses won’t reach all the schools that need it. There will be some, possibly the most needy, that miss out. Another option being that the schools won’t get enough or a combination of the two.

            Charity shows up the existence of failure within society but it cannot address that failure nor will it be able to raise enough to cover what’s needed in the sphere that it’s staked as it’s own.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.2.1

              “I’m highly sceptical of government”

              Funny, you seem to always argue for greater government involvement.

              “No it’s not. It’s constrained, to some degree, by public opinion.”

              That notwithstanding, what one government giveth the next can taketh away. Whether or not charity is a systemic failure is not what is at discussion. You repudiation of National at offering something while labour scoffed at it is also astounding.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Funny, you seem to always argue for greater government involvement.

                Actually, I tend to advocate for more democracy.

                You repudiation of National at offering something while labour scoffed at it is also astounding.

                Go back and re-read the link you provided – you’ll find that National didn’t offer anything.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.2.2

              Pffft, fucking tory charity

              • mike e

                In the side bar of that article Contra the super cynic(UF fence sitter in drag)it says that NZ employers are finding it virtually impossible to attract the right talent as they have gone overseas! brighter future!

  4. Dr Terry 4

    Though encouraged by Bill English words, the reason for the possible change in attitude is because public pressure has become strong on the issue and no longer to be dismissed. It is not a matter of National suddenly changing its spots to show “kindness”. English could not sound more grudging about it, and reverts to type by blaming parents who reside in poverty for not feeding their kids.

    However, we must be thankful these days for the slightest improvement in government attitude.

    • The Woodpecker 4.1

      I wonder how much Campbell live had to do with this? Kind of like Fair Go companys seem to come around when they get bad press.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 4.1.1

        One thing is absolutely crystal clear: if it were left up to Bill English it wouldn’t be happening. On the other hand, if we took the purse strings off Bill English and gave them to someone competent it mightn’t need to be happening in the first place.

        The OP makes a very valid point – charity is a poor substitute for good policy.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          The OP makes a very valid point – charity is a poor substitute for good policy.

          QFT

          If society was being run for the benefit of everyone rather than just a few we wouldn’t need charity.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Yeah, loved the quote from the Hearld, which now appears to be softened. In the original I read this morning Bill English came across as a real prick saying something like they look at feeding children who’s parents refused to take responsiblity. Could have been my sleep deprived brain but I swear the one now there is written differently to the one I read.

    The more polished version is below.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838730

    • Sleep deprivation is an evil thing, I met a guy in Aus that hadn’t slept for 20years.
      I myself have times when I can’t sleep for weeks.
      But it’s much better these days, since I kicked them witches in the head?
      Need a hand AsleepWhileWalking ?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      You’re right, they have changed the way they are quoting him, and it does soften the quote>

      Fuller version of the quote can be seen in this excellent post:

      http://t.co/hjhB8C9m

      “There’s no doubt that there are kids in homes where there is not a strong sense of responsibility. It’s the obligation of the rest of us to do something about that.”

  6. deuto 6

    I wonder whether Bill English has told Key?

  7. Ad 7

    Why did Labour’s leader Shearer launch an easy and populist policy 2 years out from an election?

    And anyone surprised National nicked it and dominates the biggest newspaper today and not even mention Labour’s almost identical policy launched only 21 days previously?

    Can Shearer still not see Key is at his weakest ever and all he has to do is keep attacking, attack like a pit bull in a meat truck rip out his guts and feed his political bones to the pigs?

    Who the hell is running the strategic plays in the Leader’s office when they can’t even figure out the basic difference between attack and defend?

    • QoT 7.1

      If Labour had made any kind of decent response to this I might be tempted to suspect some actual strategy was going on – i.e. announce policies which it’s really easy for the Nats to pick up, then spend the next 2 years appearing on Campbell Live on a weekly basis to say “Well, you can see, John, the Government continues to borrow our policies, but we’re okay with that because it means kids aren’t going hungry.”

      But … apparently not.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Clearly there’s no Malcolm Tucker in there calling the plays, or we wouldn’t have the sight of the wretched hypocrisy of some Labour MP’s experimenting with cheap publicity on the poverty income diet while being able to pop back every day to their taxpayer subsidised flats and Parliamentary gym like clueless Congolese aid workers.

        The only redeeming feature out of this week is child poverty will stay on the news cycle as a distinct kind of story, all the way to the election.

        I would have thought Shearer, with his globally renowned expertise in poverty alleviation, would have more deft management over such a sensitive policy area than is being demonstrated.

        But … As you say QoT

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          I would have thought Shearer, with his globally renowned expertise in poverty alleviation,

          Last time I looked poverty throughout the world was getting worse. This would indicate that Shearer doesn’t have that much expertise in reducing poverty. Probably has a lot organising getting resources, for money raised as aid and charity, from rich nations and giving it to poor countries though.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1

            that’s a bit low – like arguing that because people die in house fires and traffic crashes, fire-fighters don’t have much experience in saving lives.
             

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.1

              My point was that he’s got experience in BaU but has NFI how to actually address the problems caused by BaU.

          • Jokerman 7.1.1.1.2

            Third Way? No Way.(procrastination)

    • The Woodpecker 7.2

      Phil Goff offered a non partisan idea to Shonkey during the debates and David Shearer after he became leader. Both times Shonkey dismissed it. But now with pressure from where-ever English has relented.

  8. Shame that feeding hungry children at schools has only just arisen under Nats – could have thought that this may have been going on for some years before Nats got elected.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      That’s about all we’ll ever agree on.

    • Criag Glen Eden 8.2

      Well Im sure there were kids who didnt get breakfast when Labour was in power, but National have not implemented any policy to address the issue. If National was concerned about child poverty before they came into power they have had four long years to do some thing about it but have done nothing. National have of coarse spent four long years blaming Labour for all sorts of thing s but again have not resolved the issues like for example the brain drain to Aussie and Children going hungry
      While many posters here at the Standard have always known that National had no policy to to take NZ forward, a lot of National voters are now also finding out that the Prime Minister is a deceitful liar who’s only excuse is he has amnesia at the wheel. You cant blame Labour for the current levels of Child poverty Fortran at some time National and those who voted for it, have to take some personal responsibility for the shit National have created.

  9. Steve Wrathall 9

    Great, more spending money we don’t have, in order to do for people what they should be doing themselves. The ratchet effect will of course drive other parties to promise to extend this to decile 2…3…any advance?

    • Dv 9.1

      >>Great, more spending money we don’t have, in order to do for people what they should be doing themselves.

      Lets see.

      SCF, 1 Billion
      Corporate welfare to polluters
      Corporate welfare to hollywood
      1 Billion a year tax breaks

      60m on Nat std that tell us nothing we didn’t know before

      $8000 on a new wall for Grocer?

      For starters Steve.

      • David C 9.1.1

        or you could talk about Cullens trainset.
        $6 billion sofar? and its no where near over.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Rail rocks.

          Rail is a key infrastructure that NZ was built on. Its fuel efficiency and ability to transport loads far more effectively with far less subsidies than road will be a boon for NZ in an oil depleting future.

        • mike e 9.1.1.2

          Silly Wanker Economic stimulus acshually helps in recessions!
          And unlike SCF it has a long term benefit!
          Rail infrastructure had been neglected for 60 years so we are playing catch up idiot!
          Rail is carrying more tonnage than ever before putting that back on the roads would stuff our economy god you RWNJ’s can’t see beyond the ends of your noses!
          Scientific Research proves that conservatives supporters look for simplistic answers don’t look to far into the future are emotionally aloof more likely male and suffer from mild autism!
          Which backs up the short term thinking!

  10. tracey 10

    Interestingly the only public opinion they are not following is the asset sales sentiment?

  11. lefty 11

    No mention of Mana but one of their key election slogans was ‘Feed The Kids’.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      I prefer “make sure people can feed their kids”.

      • David C 11.1.1

        and its 22 cents to feed your kid porridge for brekky?
        you could go flash and feed em weetbix for 40 cents!

        • tracey 11.1.1.1

          Where can you buy weetbix ibdividually. If you belueve that most parents of those kids struggling for food are irresponsible then you need to take a break from your life and visit some whose lives are nothing like yours.

        • Rhinocrates 11.1.1.2

          And that will feed them for one day. And the next? And the day after, and the next week, and the next month and continually?

          Hell, why worry about Weetbix, let them eat cake, right?

          Oh let me guess, it all gets wasted on beer and pokies, right? It’s all the fault of those strawmen parents, right? Of course it is. Phew, thank insertdeityhere for that, because then we’d have to care about the children instead of finding someone to hate, which is so much easier.

  12. “That’s great news for the kids but gives the government the chance to brush the question of why they were hungry in the first place under the carpet.”

    Right, I get it – so kids weren’t hungry before National came in power?
    Yes you can argue it has gotten worse under National – and I’d agree it has. But this quote is straight dishonesty. It suggests it was never a problem before and National are to blame in totality.
    Which is untrue.

    • Rhinocrates 12.1

      Oh, blame, so easy, isn’t it? It’s a problem, but right, it’s not that National government’s fault. They didn’t start it.

      OK, now get this: they may not have caused it but they’re in a position to stop it if they wanted to.

      So why aren’t they making it their priority?

      OK, so Labour won’t stop it, can’t stop it and is useless. That’s right. They’re useless, and aren’t in a position to do so anyway. They’re useless arseholes and Shearer can’t find enough mango rinds. We know that.

      However, why won’t the National government stop it when they’re in a position to do so? Enlighten us.

      Or is it that the only thing that matters to you is to “prove” that critics of the National government aren’t the saints that those paragons of realism and common sense are?

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